The best songs are the ones that tell a story, and it’s even better when a group of songs fit a theme. Calling a body of work “mature” can feel reductive but it’s the most honest way to describe III – the latest album by Bad Books (the side-project by Kevin Devine and Manchester Orchestra frontman Andy Hull_. The songs of III touch upon the trials and observations of the human condition, through the lens of these two men who have lived lives beyond their wildest dreams. But don’t be confused, III isn’t purely about introspection, it’s just as much about the observational tact that comes from existing in the wider world. The breakdown of relationships, feeling discontent with the ways of politics, this album couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. What makes this episode special is how both Devine and Hull agree on the joy they felt while working on this album together. Ken Grand-Pierre talked to them both via an early morning Skype call.